Roll up, roll up, weve had the two sluggers battle it out on the undercard, TfL versus Uber, now for the main event. In the Blue corner we have Chris "Bonecrusher" Grayling, in the Red corner we have Sadiq "Clubber" Khan.....so to almost quote the words of American ring announcer Michael Buffer, LETS GET READY TO GRUMBLE.
Sadiq Khan is a Labour mayor in a Labour city, Chris Grayling is a consevative Secretary of State for Transport in a Coservarive government, it's fair to say that neither party will do the other any favours.....and they have no relationship whatsoever. It's also fair to say that where the taxi and private hire industry are concerned there has been buck passing on both sides.
London is now at the spearhead of the campaign to bring reform into the taxi and private hire industry, it is no longer a local issue, it's a national issue. The situation surrounding the licensing of Uber is nothing more than a sideshow, will they, won't they.....it's almost irrelevant. If Uber fall then there will be another company with a similar business model to step in, business as usual, situation normal. No, the real issue is: will Chris Grayling act decisively to bring both taxi and private hire legislation up to date.
Right now Sadiq Khan wants taxi and private hire reform, Chris Grayling is an advocate of an unfettered free market, the two are diametrically opposed to each other. This therefore leaves both industries in limbo. If we have an unfettered free market with the current regulations in place then not only are jobs in both industries at risk across the country, but passenger safety becomes compromised and the entire economy within both industries becomes compromised.....nobody wins in this situation.
Sadiq Khan and Chris Grayling need to talk to each other. The current situation is no longer a viable proposition. Chris Grayling must bring in legislation to allow local authorities across the country to cap taxi amd phv numbers. It is no longer acceptable to use the excuse that a cap will interfere with a free market, it is nothing more than a cheap feeble excuse to remain stagnant.
Chris Grayling must also bring in legislation to prevent the absurdity that is cross-border hiring. Cross-border hiring doea nothing but put passenger safety at risk, it leaves individuals at the mercy of drivers who have been licensed by authorities who may have a weaker licensing criteria. Quite frankly it isbutterly irresponsible to do nothing.
Legislation surrounding plying for hire needs an urgent review by Chris Grayling. The right to ply for hire isn't an implied right for the taxi industry.....it's an earned right and this must be recognised countrywide.
Ultimately all aspects of the All Party Parliamentary Group report into taxis MUST be implemented. There is no reason mor excuse as to why this shouldn't happen.
Sadiq Khan whether he wants the mantle or not, now represents those who want reform in the taxi and private hire industry. Chris Grayling represents the free market economy and those who wish to profit from it. There needs to be balance, this goes one of two ways, a knock down, drag out political punch-up, or a meeting of two opposing minds to facilitate a satisfactory compromise.